I had a lot of difficulty with this interview. It’s actually the hardest one I’ve ever done, simply because Rob was so difficult to figure out. He’s a grown man drinking soda from a Marvel Avengers reusable cup. He looks lost. A little on the fringes. He’s out of work but receiving money from his last employer because of a pending lawsuit. He’s licensed as a chiropractor but doesn’t practice for money. Instead he volunteers to work on the backs of amateur wrestlers who can’t afford proper care. He runs a lot of Web sites. One of them is called Findanagentbecomefamous.com. “I’ve devoted my life to helping children, so if children have a dream to become famous, I connect them with an agent or manager and give them advice.” He claims he makes no money off of the site and insists that children be with their parents at all times when auditioning or meeting with an adult. I press him on this one a bit, because it just seems so creepy. But in the end I think he’s just a guy who’s fascinated by fame.
He also runs a Web site on which he offers himself up as a Sober Companion. He says all it requires is spending time with the addict so they have a distraction from using — and if he’s unable to do it, then he finds them someone who can. He tells me more than once that he doesn’t charge for referrals. He does it because he cares.
I tell Rob that he comes off a bit odd to me, and I’m not sure if I have a handle on him yet. I say, “I’m not sure what to make of you.” I tell him why I’m uncomfortable, and then we sit quietly for a moment before he says, “You said some things that make a lot of sense to me.” He tells me that the “Today” show had him on to talk about addiction and that he seemed off when he watched the show. I find a clip of it online — he has trouble forming sentences. We talk about his thought process and vocal patterns, which he says have always been unique. But it’s worse since the alleged harassment he received at his last job. As he starts to open up about his flaws, I start to get a better idea of his struggles. “[I’m] more of an acquired taste. I’m more actions than words, and anyone who spends a certain amount of time with me sees the love and caring that I’m about. In the writing I’m able to express myself a little bit clearer than in talking.” But, as he says, “It’s not how we communicate in real life.” And that’s his struggle.
He loves spinning class — “I’ve spun at almost every club in Los Angeles, but when I went to Crunch, I seemed to fit in the best there. The other places seem more like a clique.” And he wants a woman in her 30s or 40s with a Jewish identity. “Traditions and customs mean a lot to me.” He also wants an educated woman who has the time to spend on a relationship. “Somebody who has more than weekends,” because he likes to travel and take road trips. “I don’t mind if [she has] children or not.”
Rob’s way left-of-center, but he’s not off the map. He’s just struggling to find his place, and I have no doubt there’s at least one woman out there who would appreciate who he is. She’s probably sitting by herself in a screening of “The Amazing Spider-Man,” hoping Rob takes the empty seat next to her. If only he would get up the courage to ask.
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Seth Menachem is an actor and writer living in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter. You can see more of his work on his Web site, sethmenachem.com, and meet even more single peeps at mysinglepeeps.com.